Inn the News

"Apple Bin Inn Inducted into TripAdvisor Hall of Fame"
May 19, 2015

Top B&B Lancaster PAAfter winning TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence award for the fifth consecutive year, the Apple Bin Inn has been inducted into TripAdvisor's Hall of Fame. "Winning our Certificate of Excellence award for 5 consecutive years is a remarkable feat", said Marc Charron, President of TripAdvisor for Business. "By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on consistently delivering great service to their customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive improvement in hospitality standards around the world, it also gives hospitality businesses, both large and small, the abilty to shine and stand out from their competition."

Thanks to all of our guests who have written such nice reviews of their stays with us... we look forward to welcoming you back to the Apple Bin Inn on a future visit to beautiful Lancaster County.  And if you haven't stayed with us yet, we look forward to meeting you soon!
 ~  Steve & Jamie
"Our Getaway at the Apple Bin Inn"
by Christina Rohrer
Blogger for "Discover Lancaster" (PA Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau)
November 13, 2014

Reprinted with permission

As parents of three young children you may imagine that getaways for my husband, Adam, and I are rare. However, we happened upon a Saturday night without kids. Although it was only for one night, we were excited to get away. We wanted to stay at a local Bed & Breakfast, so we chose the Apple Bin Inn in Willow Street.

When Adam and I arrived late Saturday afternoon, we were greeted by Steve, one of the innkeepers. Immediately we felt welcomed as if we were staying with long time friends. We were given a tour of the Inn, then we met Steve’s wife, Jamie, and their sweet kittens Daisy and Ruby. As we toured the house, we noticed it had a cozy yet classical feel. Built in bookshelves filled an entire wall of the living room and housed every type of book you can imagine. They even have a few shelves devoted to books signed by authors as all of them had stayed overnight in the Inn. Our room was upstairs. It was comfortable, cozy, and named after the Gala apple (one of my favorites). Our bed was covered with a quilt made my Jamie’s grandmother – can you say CO-ZY? The shower was perfect (that’s important when you are on vacation!).

Steve and Jamie have plenty of information to help plan your perfect Lancaster County stay. They know Lancaster like the back of their hands. They can easily point you to restaurants, attractions, and family activities with confidence. My husband and I were impressed with their collection of real menus (not the paper takeout ones) from many local restaurants to peruse before choosing a location for dinner.

My husband and I enjoyed a date night alone that night – dinner and a movie – then heading back to the inn where we tried to force ourselves to stay up, but the welcoming bed lured us in at an embarrassingly early hour.

The next morning we managed to drag ourselves out of our comfy bed, but only due to the promise of a homemade surprise breakfast waiting for us downstairs. We met another couple staying at the inn and had a lovely breakfast with them and the innkeepers. The food served to us was AMAZING! (I’m actually drooling thinking about the French toast.) We began with orange juice, our choice of coffee or tea, and a delightful berry parfait. Then came the real treat – banana cream stuffed French toast with homemade caramel sauce. This was served with a side of local ham, which was the perfect salty balance to the delectably sweet main dish.

After breakfast we packed up and headed back to our precious kids fully refreshed, even though it was only a one-night getaway. Being parents of children ages 2, 4, and 5, we were pleased to hear that the inn is very accommodating to children. This is not common for bed and breakfasts, so to hear this was exciting for us. They even have a separate cottage with two bedrooms and a living room area – I can’t imagine a much more ideal situation when vacationing as a whole family… separate bedrooms and homemade breakfast!

We can’t say enough good things about Steve and Jamie Shane. They were very accommodating without being overbearing, and they communicated with us quickly and efficiently in the kindest manner. We will definitely be recommending this to out-of-town guests as well as local friends.

This post was written by Christina Rohrer, a stay-at-home mom with three lively children, a musical husband, and a sweet little dog.
"Ex-Engineer Presents Comfort in an Apple Crisp"
by Stephen Kopfinger
Lancaster Intelligencer Journal
November 10, 2013

Jamie Shane likes to call herself a "hospitality engineer," and it's a title that suits her well.  After all, Shane, 54, was engaged in an industrial engineering career for many years. Her husband, Steve, worked in ceramic engineering. And their son, Dylan, 19, is studying mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

These days, Jamie and Steve run the Apple Bin Inn B&B, at 2835 Willow Street Pike in Willow Street. While engineering might sound clinical, Jamie Shane's recipe for Apple Cranberry Crisp is anything but.  It's cozy and comforting, with the taste of apples, cranberries and brown sugar. "This was one of my grandmother's recipes," Shane, a native of Newell, in southwestern Pennsylvania, says.  "She used to make it for Thanksgiving.  It's a great dish, because it serves eight to 10 people."

Shane notes that she learned to become a good cook - and baker - 14 years ago when she was diagnosed with diabetes. She still applies engineering discipline to her kitchen work.  "Being an engineer, I cook like an engineer," she says. "A recipe is just a formula which you follow."  But that does not mean cuisine should be intimidating. One of Shane's most beloved sources is a laid-back 1997 cookbook titled "Desperation Dinners," by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross. Shane's own copy is lovingly well-used, annotated with scribbled notes and little stickers to mark favorite recipes. Shane calls it "my bible." The book is aimed at real people who have work and family obligations, and Shane can identify.  "I'm not the kind to spend three hours on a meal!" she says.  And you won't spend a lot of time on this dessert, which is a good thing to know as Turkey Day approaches.

For the apple mixture:
4 large apples (a mix of sweet and tart)
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries, or:
1/2 cup dried cranberries

For the topping:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup quick cook oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Peel and thinly slice the apples. Mix the orange juice, cornstarch and sugar in a small bowl.
Pour over apples and toss well. Spoon a layer of apples in a 9 x 13-inch pan, sprinkle with half of the cranberries. Repeat.
In another bowl, combine the topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Spoon on top of the apple mixture.
Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 45 - 60 minutes.
Can be served hot or room temperature. Spoon carefully into bowls, keeping the crumbly topping on top. Top with whipped cream or side of vanilla ice cream.
Makes 8-10 servings.  Enjoy!

"At Home with B&Bs' History"
An excerpt
Staff Writer
Lancaster Intelligencer Journal
August 30, 2013

Most of Steve and Jamie Shane's guests at the Apple Bin Inn ask a lot of questions.  The top two are pretty predictable. "After they ask where is a good place for dinner, their next question usually is, 'Tell us about your house,' " Steve Shane says.

Like most Lancaster County bed & breakfast owners, the Shanes have plenty of stories to tell about their home's history. Local B&B owners say their inns' "past lives" both attract guests and make for memorable stays.  "Virtually every B&B has a history," says Shane, president of Authentic Bed and Breakfasts of Lancaster County, an association with 36 member inns. "The innkeepers typically do their research because guests want to know."

Local B&Bs' histories are as varied as the county itself. The Shanes' Apple Bin Inn, in Willow Street, was built as a private home in 1865, and remodeling projects have uncovered many fascinating artifacts in the walls, including an old straw hat filled with a crumpled newspaper from 1899.

Their home also hosted two dental practices during a 40 year period, Shane says. And around the turn of the 20th century, the homeowners served sandwiches and ice cream to trolley passengers bound for downtown Lancaster.  "We like to say it was an eatery and hospitality house even way back then," Shane says.

We hope you'll come enjoy some of our history, and a wonderful B&B experience, here at the Apple Bin Inn.  Hope to see you soon!   Steve & Jamie
Gettysburg Tours2013 marks the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the pivotal battle in our nation's greatest struggle.  This turning point in the Civil War took place July 1-3, 1863, and Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address was delivered that November 19th to commemorate the battlefield as a national cemetary.  The commemoration of the battle will involve many events in Gettysburg between June 28th and July 7th, 2013, as well as additional events November 17-24.  To see a full list of events, click here for the official Gettysburg Commemoration website.

As you can imagine, lodging in the Gettysburg area has been booked solid for many months in anticipation of the commemoration.  But from here at the Apple Bin Inn it's an easy drive to Gettysburg (about 75 minutes), and we will be welcoming many travelers who are here for the Gettysburg festivities, as well as the many great activities right here in Lancaster County. We welcome Civil War buffs and historians, and we even have a special section filled with Civil War books in our extensive library.  So come spend a few days at the Apple Bin Inn, and enjoy all that south central Pennsylvania has to offer!

Wonder What It's Like To Be A Tourist Attraction?
by Ted Taylor
Chronicle-News Globe
November, 2012
Reprinted with permission

I went to college in Lancaster County and so that area holds a special place in my heart. And each year Cindy and I go up there, at least once, and usually for homecoming.

We stay with Steve and Jamie Shane at the wonderful Apple Bin Inn in Willow Street, just a hop skip and a jump from the old alma mater. Actually, our first stop there was in 2003 — mere weeks after the two former engineers decided to chuck the corporate rat race and join the hospitality one. They declared that we are their longest-term regular customers when we were up a couple of weeks ago.

Since we missed homecoming this year — we were in Florida — we booked our Lancaster visit for the last weekend in October — right before Hurricane Sandy came screaming at us and brought lots of bad things with her.

Our usual Millersville University-related visits always include most of the day on campus going to the always well done parade; enjoying an alumni luncheon (often not so well done) and watching the Marauders traditionally get their doors blown off in the homecoming football game. (Of course they won this fall, we weren’t there.)

This year we decided to be tourists and our host, Steve, drew up a map for us highlighting things he thought we might like to see. Knowing that I am into sports memorabilia he started us off with a few of the larger antiques businesses in the region. Cacklebury Farm, on Route 30, on the way to Intercourse, was one of the largest antiques malls we ever saw. In fact, it was so big as to be overwhelming. But we plodded along anyway, dazzled by all the eclectic stuff for sale there.

Next it was up Belmont Road toward a small covered bridge, which turned out to be closed for repairs, and so we drove down many farm lanes and finally, off to the town of Intercourse, a huge tourist mecca with a suggestive name.

Driving though the farmlands we watched Amish farmers clearing the fields, much as they had been doing for the past couple of centuries. Nothing modern, just horse or mule drawn rigs. The men and the boys were in the fields, the women we saw were working around the farm houses, clearing leaves, pulling weeds. Most houses had long lines of wash hanging to dry, usually on pulleys that are attached to a silo. Lots of horse drawn buggies dotted the roadways.

When we hit Intercourse (we were also in Paradise, Blue Ball and other quaintly-named towns) it struck me that this huge tourist industry basically centers on gawking at the Amish. These very religious people are now prime tourist attractions. Movies have been made about them; souvenir stands up there carry everything Amish.

I wondered what it would be like if, someday, hoards of Amish decided to descend on our area and gawk at us living our daily lives. You know, going to the mall, buying a pizza, cutting the lawn with a power mower — our funny (to them, sometimes even to me) outfits. I think it would be darn uncomfortable.

We went to an Amish farm stand that made homemade pretzels. The pretzels were incredible, their little business was in the middle of farm lands and yet, while we were there, two tourist-laden buses stopped and people climbed out to sample their pretzels and home-made root beer (a taste for which I had developed in college).

Next we went to Lapp Valley Farm, a dairy that sold the best ice cream you’ll ever eat. And while I was devouring a coffee ice cream waffle cone (home-made, of course) an Amish buggy pulled up to the drive-in window and a cute little boy was treated to an ice cream by his bearded father (or grandfather). We then hit a few shops, even bought a piece of Amish-made furniture for our house, and then headed back to the Apple Bin Inn for a to-die-for Hess’s BBQ dinner.

Over dinner I asked Steve if he thought the Amish minded being tourist attractions and he replied, “Yes, I think they do, but they have figured out a way to capitalize on their differences … and they are always willing to make a dollar. In fact many of them are pretty well-off.” That point being clearly evident in their huge, pristine, farm houses and acres and acres of lush bountiful farmland.

I didn’t feel at all guilty about enjoying the area and admiring the Amish and their quaint (to me) way of life. And, yes, they acknowledge being tourist attractions and, yes, it’s equally clear that they don’t mind making a buck off our curiosity. Seems like a win-win situation for all of us in one of our area’s most attractive and interesting regions.

Willow Street's Hans Herr House to Celebrate "Lancaster Roots 300"

The Hans Herr House in Willow Street will be a center of attention throughout 2010 for the 300th Anniversary of the first permanent European settlers in Lancaster County in 1710.  This oldest dwelling in Lancaster County (and less than 2 miles from the Apple Bin Inn) will host numerous events throughout the year.  You can read about it in the March 2010 issue of "Better Homes & Gardens" (pg. 230).  

We'd be pleased to have you as our guests at the Apple Bin Inn while you experience the many events and attractions celebrating Lancaster County's 300th Anniversary! 
Lancaster History

Apple Bin Inn Welcomes Bestselling Author

During August 2009, bestselling author Mindy Starns Clark was a guest at the Apple Bin Inn while doing research for two upcoming books about the Amish in Lancaster County...  A Pocket Guide to Amish Life (release date: January 2010), and Secrets of Harmony Grove (release date: November 2010).

Lancaster County AuthorMs. Clark is the author of Shadows of Lancaster County, Under the Cajun Moon, Whispers of the Bayou, the "Million Dollar Mysteries" series, the "Smart Chick Mysteries" series, and the nonfiction how-to book The House That Cleans Itself.  (A singer and former stand-up comedian, Mindy is also a popular inspirational speaker and playwright.) 

We arranged for her to spend a conversational afternoon with an Amish family at their farm, followed by a home-cooked dinner at the home of another Amish family, and she and her husband came back raving about both experiences.  She said, “My husband and I can’t thank you enough for all that you did on our behalf!  Between that and the incredible meals and your wonderful inn, our entire visit was simply a dream come true.  Thank you so much for everything!”

 It was our pleasure, Mindy!  We look forward to reading your new books and sharing them with our guests! 

Apple Bin Inn Participates in 2008 Art Lovers' B&B Getaway Month

Art in Lancaster County
The Apple Bin Inn helped organize an Art Lovers' B&B Getaway Month in Lancaster County.  In April 2008, 22 inns throughout the county displayed works by talented local artists for their guests to enjoy, and open houses were offered to the public each week.  Acclaimed modern impressionist Carol Oldenburg was our featured artist at the Apple Bin Inn. She exhibited 20 original works of tranquil landscapes and florals, and visitors were able to watch her paint at the inn during our weekly open houses.  Our guests literally "woke up to art" at the Apple Bin Inn!

Apple Bin Inn Recipes Included in 2007 B&B Cookbook

Bed & Breakfast Cookbook
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The 2007 Pennsylvania Edition of the award winning Bed & Breakfast Cookbook Series features 3 recipes from the Apple Bin Inn!  

As our B&B guest you'll enjoy a different full country breakfast every day of your stay with us.  Come taste for yourself what so many guests have been raving about ~ the scrumptious breakfasts served daily at the Apple Bin Inn.  We look forward to setting a place for you!

Apple Bin Inn a "Top 10" Bed & Breakfast!

In October, 2006, the Central Penn Business Journal recognized the Apple Bin Inn as one of the 
Top 10 Bed & Breakfast Inns in Pennsylvania!

Whether you're coming to Lancaster County for business or pleasure, you'll find our warm hospitality, delightful accommodations, and delicious breakfasts to be just what you're looking for. 

We hope to see you soon!

Best Bed and Breakfasts Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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Apple Bin Inn Featured on 2004 Christmas Tour of Homes

Lancaster B&B at Christmas

During December 2004, the Apple Bin Inn joined six other homes across Lancaster County to help raise money for the 360 students of Living Word Academy in Lancaster. During the 5-hour open house, about 200 visitors came to enjoy the extensive Christmas decorations throughout the inn, including 3 Christmas trees, an abundance of wreaths & garlands, and numerous Snow VillageŽ displays. Academy hostesses provided hot cider wassail and home baked cookies, and the spirit of the holiday was shared by all.
B&B Chefs

Apple Bin Inn Helps Host 2004 Kitchen Tour

The Apple Bin Inn was a featured stop on the 2004 Kitchen Tour for the Strasburg Women's Club. Our guest chef was Bill Scepansky from Kegel's, who frequently appears on area TV shows. Chef Bill demonstrated how to prepare a delicious leek truffle soup for our visitors to sample. During the 4-hour tour, about 100 visitors from neighboring towns toured the Apple Bin Inn, and we made a lot of new friends while helping a worthy charity.

Ted Taylor - Baseball writer and sports collectables expert

"B&B" Makes for an "A" Weekend
by Ted Taylor
Times Chronicle / Glenside News / Huntingdon Valley Globe
October, 2003
Reprinted with permission

I remember staying in tourist homes as a kid. My dad's Philadelphia-based company also had an office in Ottawa, Canada, and in the summertime we'd drive up there, stop at Niagara Falls and spend a few nights along the way in tourist homes.

Tourist homes were just that. A home that the owners opened up for tourists to stay in as they traveled America's highways. In most of them you and the family shared the same bathroom, the breakfast table, and other amenities. And then as the country's super highways replaced the nation's labyrinth of back roads, so, too, did motels replace tourist homes.

But now the same concept lives again. They are called bed and breakfasts (hip people call them B&Bs), and my wife and I just experienced a wonderful one in a town that I never heard of, five miles from my alma mater, Millersville University.

Last year when my 40th reunion beckoned, we called the alumni office and they provided us with a list of nearby motels. The one we ended up in was, to be kind, dreadful. It was a "name" hotel, but it last saw new furniture, I'd guess, during the JFK administration. Not only was it threadbare, it was dirty. We stayed there for a night and vowed never to do that again.  So, that did it for my wife. She told me that if we were going to homecoming this year we'd be staying at a B&B or we'd be driving up and back the same day.

And so we discovered Jamie and Steve Shane's Apple Bin Inn on Willow Street Pike in, of all places, Willow Street, PA. I had gone to college five miles from there and never heard of the town of Willow Street. And when I found their inn on the Internet and contacted them in early September they said that there was but one room left - the Gala Suite (of course all of their rooms are named for apple varieties). I said that I'd take it.

What a great decision. The inn was built in 1865 on what is now Route 272 North and it has also functioned as a general store in its historic past. But now it is a B&B and it has five guest suites - each unique and with a character of its own.

Steve and Jamie had just taken over ownership of the Apple Bin Inn in September [2003]. They were both engineers and both had had it with the corporate world. Being logical thinkers they decided on owning and operating a B&B and then searched the East Coast for "the place". Their search brought them to Lancaster County and the Apple Bin Inn.

Of course it was fully booked for the weekend and we felt as if we were home the minute we walked through the door. Steve, Jamie, their son Dylan, and cat Jessie, made you feel welcome immediately.

The breakfasts they served both days were culinary delights, and the conversations with our fellow boarders built an air of warmth that made us all reluctant to depart - with goodies baked by Jamie - on Sunday morning.

There were Simon and Mandy from London, England, retired school teachers Bob and Linda from the Outer Banks and two couples - a tax collector and borough secretary - from a nearby New Jersey town. But for that weekend we were all like family. Oh yes, all the bedroom doors had keys and no one used them. It was that kind of place. 

Homecoming was fun, as usual. Millersville lost the football game, but hosted a lot of great events - including the granddaddy of all homecoming parades.

And, yes, we'll go to homecoming next year... and, yes, I've already booked the Gala Suite in advance.  We can't wait to go back!

A footnote to Ted's 2003 article:  As of 2014, Ted and Cindy Taylor have stayed with us for 12 consecutive years, and we look forward to many more!  Once a friend, always a friend at the Apple Bin Inn!        Steve & Jamie Shane

Apple Bin Inn
2835 Willow Street Pike N.
Willow Street, PA 17584
Lancaster County

Phone: 717-464-5881
Copyright © 2003-2016 Apple Bin Inn.
All rights reserved.

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